Friday, June 25, 2010

Feeding Disorder...Really?

If you have ever seen this baby eat you know how ridiculous that sounds. However, Joey was just diagnosed with a mild to moderate dysphagia (something I have suspected since he was about two months old). But to look at him eat... you would never know it. Here are the pics from the buffets in Las Vegas !
I needed to keep him busy with something so I could eat my dinner too... Hence, Joey's first chocolate chip cookie.
Here he is sampling a waffle at breakfast.
And the whole roasted sweet potato I was cutting up for him on the edge of my plate... He stole it when I wasn't looking.
And when we finally cut him off he gave us this look like... "what?.... I didn't eat that much...just look at the ground.." and you should have seen it! (big tips to the waiter/waitresses too!) Note the spinach ravioli on the side of his face. It was one of his favorites at the buffet at Paris.

I hate to say it but I love watching this baby eat... the way he picks up food and puts it in his mouth with such precision is so adorable to me.

With respect to the feeding issues... we have a follow-up next week to discuss the Speech Pathologist and Radiologist's report from the swallow study. We were referred for this study back in October. After months of phone calls trying to get an appointment and being told that there was a six month waiting list; being sent to the hospital where they almost conducted the wrong test; being told that they had no authorization from our insurance; losing Joey's referral (later to say it could not be found because it was in the STAT file); then finally, almost two months after the initial evaluation, we got the appointment for the modified barium swallow study. The study was done on May 28, 2010 and although we knew right away that he was silently aspirating liquids, I did not get the report from the Speech Pathologist until this week (after calling twice). Two more phone calls later and we have a follow-up scheduled for next week to discuss a treatment/feeding plan. For now, we will keep thickening all his liquids and pray he does not end up with pneumonia.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day (Surprise Trip To Vegas)

Last Wednesday my Mom told me that she and my Dad would be going to Las Vegas that weekend. Since it was Father's Day weekend, I decided to surprise Tony and my Dad and booked us a flight. I was especially longing to see my family after my whole ordeal and health scare last week. When we got there on Friday we my good friend from law school pick us up and we got to have dinner with her, her husband and their nine month old baby. It was such a treat to get to see them. I miss her dearly and wish we lived closer together.

My parents arrived late Friday night and I wish I could say that Joey was happy to see them....but he was not. He is going through a bit of a clingy phase and is apprehensive of just about anyone he does not see on a daily basis (and sometimes he even pushes his babysitter Shannon away after spending the weekend with Tony and I.) But it totally broke my heart to see Joey push, and even hit my Dad's hand away. Here he is at breakfast reluctantly sitting on my Dad's lap.

And showing his displeasure when my Dad reached out to touch him.

Towards the end of the weekend he eventually warmed up to them a bit.
But more with my Mom ("Dramma") ...

Than he did with his Pa Pa, my Dad.

Eventually he allowed Pa Pa to love on him a little if someone else was holding him. Here are my three favorite guys.

Joey enjoyed being with his Da Da the most.

And the buffets ...(more to come on Joey's enjoying the buffets in Vegas later) Here is a preview of him trying a pancake at Planet Hollywood's breakfast buffet.

And here we are at Planet Hollywood on Sunday morning.

It was so great to be able to spend Father's Day with my Daddy and for Tony to be able to spend Father's Day with his Da Da. Especially since Tony usually works on Sundays.

Joey just loved the pool at the Rio. It had a beach, sand and all, that gradually got deeper. Perfect for a baby to play in.

He had so much fun in there.

Look at that face! I cannot wait to take him to a real beach again!

Ahhh pure bliss!

After my parents left to go home on Sunday, Tony, Joey and I took a shuttle to the strip. At the Bellagio we stumbled on a beautiful botanical garden display of "An Ant's Life." It was simply breathtaking.
Joey having a blast.

Here he is with Tony checking out an aquarium in the Forum Shops at Ceasar's Palace.

And chewing on his hands.

We had a great time. With the exception of his interactions with my Dad, Joey was so charming with complete strangers all weekend. He smiled and waved at people in the airport. Made friends with kids in seats in front of us and behind us on the plane. We even had a lady come up to us when we landed in Vegas who was a swim instructor and offered to give Joey swimming lessons! Despite all the fun, we were happy to get home on Monday (mostly because we were soooo tired...I will explain in a later post.)

YAY! Home at last! Happy Father's Day again to my Dad and Tony, and to all the Dad's out there!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (It's Summer!)

And someone is no longer sitting in mamma's arms in the pool. He wants to be independent and explore his surroundings.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One Heck of A Week

It has been one heck of a week over here. I debated whether or not to post the gory details of what happened. However, my experience this week may be helpful to one of my friends or family at some point in the future so here goes...

It all started last Sunday with the positive pregnancy test. No.... we had not been trying to get pregnant but over the course of the last weekend I was experiencing that all too familiar nausea that I knew from past experience means only one thing for Sunday afternoon I took a test and sure enough... I was pregnant. I had no idea exactly how far along (my monthly cycle has not been normal since giving birth to Joey last year) so Monday morning I called my doctor and asked if I could come in for an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. I was concerned over the fact that I had become pregnant while on birth control and while taking other medications which I did not necessarily want to be taking while pregnant. But I was met with immediate resistance. Why the OBGYN is so reluctant to perform an ultrasound (when they have several of them in their office) I have no idea.... but I was told that they would not do an ultrasound and would not see me until at least 8 weeks after my last period. Well... after taking a closer look at my chart (and presumably seeing that I had difficulties with my last pregnancy and a history of miscarriages) they called me back within the hour and scheduled a "pre OB" appointment at what would have been six weeks since what I thought might have been my last period.

While I was not completely satisfied with this and continued to have a nagging feeling that I needed to have an ultrasound sooner, I reluctantly made an appointment for June 18 for a "pre OB" appointment with a nurse practitioner in my OB's office.

You see we had not been trying to get pregnant just yet. I had been on birth control pills ever since giving birth to Joey. At first they gave me a progestin only pill that would not interfere with breast feeding. I do not recall my doctor saying anything to me at the time she prescribed the pill, about needing to switch pills immediately when I stopped breastfeeding. I am pretty sure I would have remembered that. So when I stopped breastfeeding last October, I continued to take the Progestin only pills. It was not until my yearly exam on May 6 (yes a few weeks ago) that my doctor asked whether I was still breastfeeding. When I told her I was not, she switched me over to Seasonique, the pills I had been taking before we decided to have Joey. She told me to go ahead and finish the pack of pills I was taking and when I was done with those I could go ahead and start the new pills. Well three weeks later here I was nauseated and staring at a positive pregnancy test. Anyone who knows me knows that I have had baby fever for a while now. So while this was a bit sooner than we had planned, we quickly got excited about the prospect of having a sibling for Joey.

On Tuesday morning, however, I began spotting a little. While I knew that some spotting could be normal during the first trimester of pregnancy, it also made me nervous because I have had miscarriages in the past. Despite the spotting I continued to get ready for a trial I had been preparing to participate in at work. Tuesday afternoon I was in court arguing jury instructions for our case and I began experiencing some cramping. I knew this was not a good sign and accepted the fact that I might be having a miscarriage. That evening after court I went back to the office and told the managing partner (with whom I was preparing for trial the next day) that I thought I might be having a miscarriage and did not know whether or not I would be able to make it to court Wednesday morning. Overnight, however, the cramping and the spotting stopped. As a result, I decided to go ahead and go to court Wednesday morning.

On the way there the cramping returned with a vengeance. So I called the OBGYN's office again and asked if I could get an appointment for that afternoon. I told them I may be having a miscarriage but either way, I just needed to know. Again, I was met with resistance. They told me there was nothing that could be done and I should go home, lay down and put my feet up. Less than 10 minutes later they called me back and told me that someone could see me Thursday morning. I reluctantly made the appointment and continued to court in Woodland. About an hour into the proceedings the pain became so unbearable that I began to sweat. At that point, I leaned over and told the partner I was with that I had to go, and I drove home. The drive home was scary. The pain was starting to feel like labor pain and I felt a little dizzy. When I got home I laid on the couch for a while and then called the advice nurse again. I also called Tony and told him I needed him to come home from work because I thought I might need to go to the hospital and I did not think I could drive.

The advice nurse told me that I was probably just having a miscarriage and there was nothing they could do for me. I was advised to lay down and take some Tylenol. I protested and asked if someone could please see me today. The pain now was worse than what I remembered labor pain had been like. Although I was still spotting a little, there was still no bleeding. I had had a miscarriage before and this pain was way beyond what I had experienced previously. I informed her I was very concerned that something was wrong. A short while later the nurse called me back and said the nurse practitioner was willing to squeeze me in at 2:00 (in two and a half hours!).

When Tony and I got to the doctor's office and I explained that I had been taking progestin only pills but had stopped breast feeding 9 months ago, the nurse practitioner said "ooohh, you could be farther along than you think). According to her I should have switched pills immediately when I stopped breast feeding. Again, that would have been good to know. So she said lets take a look and pulled the ultrasound machine over. The first thing she noted was that my uterus did not look pregnant. She then pointed out that I had a large amount of fluid around my uterus and then she left to get a doctor because she was not sure exactly what we were seeing.

When the doctor came in, he took one look and said the only place I was going this evening was to surgery. He pointed out what looked like a donut in one of my fallopian tubes and said I had an ectopic pregnancy and it had burst my fallopian tube. The fluid around my uterus was blood. Basically, if I had waited a couple of more hours, my blood pressure would have dropped and I would have gone into shock. So it was a good thing I did not follow the advice nurse's "advice" of just taking some Tylenol and taking a nap on the couch.

What happened after that is somewhat of a blur. The doctor called over to the hospital and got a surgeon and O.R. lined up. Tony and I were sent over to the hospital and told to check into the ER. When we walked in the door they said "are you the girl with the ectopic pregnancy?" When I indicated I was, they whisked me into a room and within ten minutes had very large IV's in both arms. Within the hour I was in surgery. It was scary. But I was lucky. Although there was a pint of blood in my abdomen, the surgeon was able to remove the ectopic pregnancy and fix my ruptured fallopian tube. I am sporting three new scars on my belly as around my belly button, one on the side where the fallopian tube burst and another scar just under the c-section scar. Good thing I was not planning on wearing a bikini any time soon! After I awoke from surgery (and much to our surprise) they sent me home with a bunch of pain medication. I have been ordered to take off work until the 21st of June. And I am definitely recovering. Sure we are sad that the pregnancy could not be saved, but thank God I still have all the parts and we will be able to try again soon.
The moral of the story here for all my friends and those who might read this blog is this... remember you know your body better than anyone else. The advice nurse's "advice" is not gospel and may not even be correct. If you know something is wrong by all means question them and be persistent. It scares me to think what might of happened if I had gone home and gone to sleep and ignored the pain.

As if all of that was not bad enough, Joey also got sick this week. After finishing a course of antibiotics for a sinus infection two weeks ago, his sinus infection had come back. He has had a fever since Friday of about 102 and has been miserable. We took him to the doctor Friday morning and were given another course of antibiotics, but this morning he still had the fever, so off to urgent care we went. He is now on a three day course of injectable antibiotics which we will take him each morning for the next three days to get. Poor baby. and poor Tony who has been taking care of both of us. Did I mention I am not supposed to lift more than 20 pounds for the next two weeks.

We look forward to getting back to normal. Because things have been so crazy around here I did not have a chance to post any of the pictures from last weekend when all was a little less crazy. So here they are:

Joey's first trip to the zoo was last Friday for the "dreamnight at the zoo" an event for families with children with special needs. Here he is feeding the giraffe
and eating some ice cream...
and signing more
As you can see, he is a huge fan.
Joey also had his first ride on the carousel
and then we ran into a few friends. Here Joey is with Delila Rose
And Jen
And then on Saturday he had his first swim of the summer in the pool at our condo. Here he is ready to go (and excited about it!)
Joey loves the pool!
Check out that face!
I don't know...ya think he is happy?
Yes the past week was one heck of a week. But this baby...that face...just makes everything a little easier to deal with. Thank you to all my friends and family for the outpouring of support, prayers and love the last week.